1

discharge

play
verb dis·charge \ dis-ˈchärj , ˈdis-ˌ \

Definition of discharge

transitive verb
1 :to relieve of a charge, load, or burden:
a :unload
  • discharge a cargo ship
b :to release from an obligation
  • will be discharged from further payment
c electrical engineering :to release electrical energy from (something, such as a battery or capacitor) by a discharge (see 2discharge 9b)
  • discharging electricity from a battery
2 a :to let or put off
  • discharge passengers
  • discharge cargo
b :shoot
  • discharge an arrow
c :to release from confinement, custody, or care
  • discharge a prisoner
  • discharge a patient
d :to give outlet or vent to :emit
  • discharge emotions
  • vehicles discharging exhaust fumes
3 a (1) :to dismiss from employment
  • had to discharge several employees last month
(2) :to release from service or duty
  • discharge a soldier
  • was discharged from the Navy
b :to get rid of (something, such as a debt or obligation) by performing an appropriate action (such as payment)
  • failing to discharge their debts
c law :to set aside or dismiss :annul
  • discharge a court order
d :to order (a legislative committee) to end consideration of a bill (see 4bill 6) in order to bring it before the house (see 1house 6a) for action
4 :to bear and distribute (something, such as the weight of a wall above an opening)
5 :to bleach out or remove (color or dye) in dyeing and printing textiles
6 :to cancel the record of the loan of (a library book) upon return
intransitive verb
1 a :to throw off or deliver a load, charge, or burden
b :to release electrical energy by a discharge (see 2discharge 9b)
  • ensure that the electricity discharges safely
2 a :go off, fire used of a gun
  • His weapon discharged
.
b :spread, run
  • some dyes discharge
c :to pour forth fluid or other contents
  • where the river discharges into the ocean

dischargeable

play \-jə-bəl\ adjective

dischargee

play \(ˌ)dis-ˌchär-ˈjē\ noun

discharger

play \dis-ˈchär-jər, ˈdis-ˌ\ noun

Examples of discharge in a Sentence

  1. She's due to be discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.

  2. We had to discharge several employees last week.

  3. Thousands of soldiers were discharged after the war.

  4. The judge discharged the jury.

  5. The ship discharged missiles against enemy targets.

  6. The gun failed to discharge.

Recent Examples of discharge from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discharge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of discharge

Middle English, from Anglo-French descharger, from Late Latin discarricare, from Latin dis- + Late Latin carricare to load — more at charge

discharge Synonyms

Synonyms
blast, shoot, fire, loose, squeeze off
Antonyms
load, pack
Related Words
launch, project; blaze (at), snipe (at); cast, catapult, fling, heave, hurl, hurtle, lob, pelt, pitch, sling, throw, toss
Near Antonyms
charge, cram, fill, heap, jam, jam-pack, stuff

Synonym Discussion of discharge

perform, execute, discharge, accomplish, achieve, effect, fulfill mean to carry out or into effect. perform implies action that follows established patterns or procedures or fulfills agreed-upon requirements and often connotes special skill.
    • performed gymnastics
execute stresses the carrying out of what exists in plan or in intent.
    • executed the hit-and-run
discharge implies execution and completion of appointed duties or tasks.
    • discharged his duties
accomplish stresses the successful completion of a process rather than the means of carrying it out.
    • accomplished everything they set out to do
achieve adds to accomplish the implication of conquered difficulties.
    • achieve greatness
effect adds to achieve an emphasis on the inherent force in the agent capable of surmounting obstacles.
    • effected sweeping reforms
fulfill implies a complete realization of ends or possibilities.
    • fulfilled their ambitions

2

discharge

play
noun dis·charge \ ˈdis-ˌchärj , dis-ˈ \

Definition of discharge

1 a :the act of relieving of something that oppresses :release
b :something that discharges or releases; especially :a certification of release or payment
  • produced the discharge as evidence
2 :the state of being discharged or relieved
3 :the act of discharging or unloading
  • her discharge from the hospital
4 law :release from confinement
  • a record of prison discharges
5 :a firing off
  • the discharge of a weapon
6 a :a flowing or issuing out
  • a discharge of spores
  • a discharge of mucus
; also :a rate of flow
  • controlling the discharge of water
b :something that is emitted
  • a purulent discharge
  • a clear discharge from the eyes and nose
7 law :the act of removing an obligation or liability (see liability 2)
  • received a full discharge from his creditors
8 a :release or dismissal especially from an office or employment
  • suing for wrongful discharge
b :complete separation from military service
  • her discharge from the Navy
  • an honorable discharge
9 a physics :the equalization of a difference of electric potential (see 2potential 2c) between two points
b energy engineering :the conversion of the chemical energy of a battery into electrical energy

Examples of discharge in a Sentence

  1. The doctors approved her discharge from the hospital.

  2. Several former employees are suing the company for wrongful discharge.

  3. After his discharge from the military, he went to college to become a teacher.

  4. The damage was caused by accidental discharge of a hunting rifle.

  5. a rapid discharge from a gun

Recent Examples of discharge from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'discharge.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of discharge



DISCHARGE Defined for English Language Learners

discharge

play
verb

Definition of discharge for English Language Learners

  • : to allow (someone) to leave a hospital, prison, etc.

  • : to take away the job of (someone) : to end the employment of (someone)

  • : to end the service of (someone) in a formal or official way : to release (someone) from duty


discharge

play
noun

Definition of discharge for English Language Learners

  • : the release of someone from a hospital, prison, etc.

  • : the act of firing or dismissing someone from a job

  • : the act of ending a person's service to the military


DISCHARGE Defined for Kids

1

discharge

play
verb dis·charge \ dis-ˈchärj \

Definition of discharge for Students

discharged; discharging
1 :to allow to leave or get off
  • The patient was discharged from the hospital.
2 :to dismiss from service
  • discharge a worker
3 :to free of a load or burden :unload
  • discharge a ship
4 :1shoot 2
  • discharge a gun
5 :to cause to shoot out of
  • discharge a bullet
6 :to pour forth fluid or other contents
  • The chimney discharged smoke.
7 :to get rid of by paying or doing
  • discharge a debt
  • He discharged his responsibilities.

2

discharge

play
noun dis·charge \ ˈdis-ˌchärj \

Definition of discharge for Students

1 :the release of someone from a place The doctor approved her discharge from the hospital.
2 :the release from a duty or debt
3 :a certificate of release or payment
4 :the act of firing a person from a job
5 :an end of a person's military service
6 :an act of firing off
  • a gun's discharge
7 :something that flows out
  • The discharge was coming from a pipe.

Medical Dictionary

1

discharge

play
verb dis·charge \ dis(h)-ˈchärj , ˈdis(h)-ˌ \

medical Definition of discharge

discharged; discharging
transitive verb
1 :to release from confinement, custody, or care
  • discharge a patient from the hospital
2 a :to give outlet to or emit
  • a boil discharging pus
b :to release or give expression to (a pent-up emotion or a repressed impulse)
  • discharged his anxiety by working out with a punching bag
intransitive verb
:to pour forth fluid or other contents

2

discharge

play
noun dis·charge \ ˈdis(h)-ˌchärj , dis(h)-ˈ \

medical Definition of discharge

1 :the act of relieving of something
  • discharge of a repressed impulse
2 :release from confinement, custody, or care
  • returned to work the day after discharge from the hospital
3 :something that is emitted or evacuated
  • a purulent discharge from a wound
  • a thick white vaginal discharge

Law Dictionary

1

discharge

play
transitive verb dis·charge \ dis-ˈchärj, ˈdis-ˌchärj \

legal Definition of discharge

1 :to release from an obligation: as
a :to relieve of a duty under an instrument (as a contract or a negotiable instrument); also :to render (an instrument) no longer enforceable
  • a formal instrument…may be discharged by either cancellation or surrender
  • —J. D. Calamari and J. M. Perillo
b :to release (a debtor in bankruptcy) from liability for his or her debts
2 :to release from confinement, custody, or care
  • discharge a prisoner
3 a :to dismiss from employment :terminate the employment of
b :to release from service or duty
  • discharge a jury
  • discharge a witness
4 a :to get rid of (as a debt or obligation) by performing an appropriate action
b :to fulfill a requirement for
  • evidence which is required to discharge the burden of going forward
  • —W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
5 :to order (a legislative committee) to end consideration of a bill in order to bring it before the house for action

dischargeability

\dis-ˌchär-jə-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun

dischargeable

play \dis-ˈchär-jə-bəl\ adjective

2

discharge

play
noun dis·charge \ ˈdis-ˌchärj \

legal Definition of discharge

1 a :the act of relieving of something that burdens or oppresses :release
b :something that discharges or releases; especially :a certification of or a document proving release or payment
2 :the state of being discharged or released
  • a party seeking a total discharge
3 :release from confinement
  • ordering a conditional discharge of the alien on habeas corpus
  • Harvard Law Review
4 :the act of removing an obligation or liability (as by payment of a debt or performance of a duty)
5 a :a dismissal from employment or office
constructive discharge
:discharge of an employee effected by making the employee's working conditions so intolerable that he or she reasonably feels compelled to resign
retaliatory discharge
:a wrongful discharge that is done in retaliation for an employee's conduct (as reporting an employer's criminal activity) and that clearly violates public policy
wrongful discharge
:discharge of an employee for illegal reasons or for reasons that are contrary to public policy (as in retaliation for the employee's refusal to engage in unlawful activity)
b :a release from service or duty


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